Junior Chamber International (JCI) is a worldwide association of young people between the ages of 21 and 40. Founded in America in the year 1915 with only 32 young men, JCI has grown to over 200,000 members in more than 100 countries around the world today.

Mission:
To provide development opportunities that empower young people to create positive change.

Vision:
To be the leading global network of young active citizens.

History of JCI:
Almost a century ago, Henry Giessenbier, Jr. decided to take responsibility for the progress and welfare of his community by helping tackle difficult problems around him. Together with 32 other young men, Giessenbier established the Young Men's Progressive Civic Association, JCI’s first Local Organization, in St. Louis, USA in 1915. The members of the first Local Organization dedicated themselves to bringing about community improvements and giving young people a constructive approach to civic problems. By 1944, the movement had spread through eight countries. When delegates from these countries met in Mexico City at the Inter-American Conference that year, they agreed it was time to officially form Junior Chamber International. This deep-rooted tradition of bringing together active citizens from diverse backgrounds remains alive today in our international events. They fuel the JCI movement and set the groundwork to create positive change that transcends boundaries.

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The Beginning

Singapore first heard of the Junior Chamber movement at a Rotary Luncheon at Adelphi Hotel in October 1949. The then JCI Vice-President for Asia, Gregario M. Feliciano, was describing in moving terms a civic organization which was capturing the minds and hearts of young men around the world. The meeting heard that the Junior Chamber had been established in Manila, Philippines on December 20,1947 with an initial membership of 18 members. On September 3, 1949, a second Asian Chapter was established, this time in Japan.

Covering the luncheon was a reporter from “Malaya Tribune”, Ted Goh Tuck Chiang, who with other non-Rotarians further queried Feliciano on the aims and objectives of Junior Chamber. Feliciano told them that Junior Chamber could inculcate civic consciousness among its members through active participation in constructive projects designed to improve the community, the nation and the world. Ted and the others were so inspired by Feliciano that they held a discussion on their own at Washington Cafe, Bras Basah junction of North Bridge Road. These inspired young men then went round, recruiting like-minder young people. They went more for executives rather than “junior” executives because they needed not only organizational ability but also members who could subsidize the projects that they would be implementing. Their hard work culminated in the forming of the Singapore Junior Chamber of Commerce on December 8, 1949. The 30 or so young men gathered together to elect Ted Goh as the first President of the Singapore Junior Chamber of Commerce